Thursday, 19 November 2020

On the Edge of the Nebula: The Official Starships Collection: Regula One

Incredible to think that turning a model upside down can create one of the most memorable places in Star Trek.

The Regula One space lab was at the very heart of The Wrath of Khan and throw in your Eaglemoss refit Enterprise and Reliant and you're got yourself a recreation of the film's last 30 minutes.

When you do a ship collection review there's always the temptation to use the words "long awaited" and the phrase "should have been done years ago" but hey, I'll avoid both of those and say this is a great replica and done on the right scale....that's been long awaited and should have been done ages ago(!).

Items such as concept designs, weapons platforms and satellites are perfect for the bonus line but Spacedock, K-7 and this deserved to be done in Big Scale - they are iconic and indelibly etched on the mind of Trek fans of all ages. Think about The Wrath of Khan and Regula One is always going to be up there as an essential piece of the tale.

The Eaglemoss Special Edition utilises the same stand design we saw with the Spacedock model some time back, allowing for a more "suspenseful" display and shows off all the parts of the station unhindered.

Probably the most crushing disappointment is that piece on the top of the station. A plastic segment which should be painted up in bronze and be more of a tetrapod structure with the aerial above. However, and I'm guessing it's down to the usual cost and trickiness of manufacturing, we have what looks like something you'd use to sit in the middle of a pizza box to stop it collapsing. 

The colours on the magazine cover totally throw a curve ball too and while they correctly display that aerial structure, the colour of the main hub section on which it sits is a lot darker than both the model and what you can see in The Wrath of Khan. The metal hangar section is well decorated with venting as well as some form of nodes around the upper edge. Again the window positioning is slightly off the raised markings but generally it looks pretty good. Some of the panel painting is sketchy around the edges (dark grey doesn't get into some corners) but the mid, recessed piece has some nice darker greebling BUT AGAIN suffers from some inconsistent painting.

The hangar doors and the sunken entrance to them are a prominent feature of Regula One and here they carry that distinct "X" and the lines to indicate the separation points. Yes, AGAIN there are paint blemishes and even as we get further down it seems to be limited solely to anything in this dark grey.

Connecting into the plastic base is a spoked wheel-type piece which sort of goes against my argument as to why they didn't get the aerial piece correct at the top of the lab because that cutaway kind of effect is done perfectly here and is even combined with some panelled paintwork. There is a nasty and somewhat obvious mould line around the edge of this bike wheel and, frustratingly, some of the patches aren't even matching.

The structure below this offers expansion arms plus two already in place structures to either side which have been established as habitat modules with one of the larger four circular elements also housing what appears to be a space telescope of sorts. The fact this isn't all blobbed into one piece isn't lost on me and the detail, although subtle, is definitely the right move and with that piece being open it helps create a better look for the station plus it provides a sense of depth. 

This level also benefits from a few dabs of red paint and towards the centre of the station you can also see some decals for the airlocks - one of the only markings visible on the lab. Then further below that we have another hollow ring with an edge that sweeps back towards the central structure and is covered in windows.These are also recessed and are painted perfectly and seeks only to draw increasing attention to what now becomes a very out of place aerial. Look at it too much and you might notice that it's also a shade off the paint colour of the rest of the station!

The tan tubes to the bottom operate as storage tanks for the space lab and what this screams out for is a bit of weathering. Overall the station looks great but as with a few in the main collection it might look a little too great and needs to be dirtied up for that additional layer of realism. The tanks are conspicuous because of their unnatural cleanliness and just a bit of dry brushing might work enough "dirt" into a few crevices.

That lighter paint finish does play with my mind a little since on screen it's a lot darker and more in keeping with some of the feature parts; but then it was in deep the dark so that might explain a few things plus you can finally get a good look around the curves and corners that weren't as easy to see.

The magazine is a bumper wet dream for The Wrath of Khan fans filled to near bursting with details on the background of what is generally considered the best movie produced. Giving a sprinkle of backstory from the big screen we do get to see how the office complex from The Motion Picture took a 180 degree turn and lost a few parts to morph into its more recognisable shape plus there's a very interesting section on how the miniatures were filmed and some of the classic sequences were put together thanks to ILM.

The package as a whole for this one is spot on. The model itself has one glaring, crushing issue right at the top but look beyond that and both the magazine and the model have a ton of redeeming features which lessen the impact of that design choice. It's rare to see this iconic piece of hardware anywhere and to have Eaglemoss recreate it on such a scale and as part of their specials series is more than we really deserved. You might not be a fan of the gold but this is one that you'll be hard-pressed not to add to your shelves in double-quick time.

Read all our other reviews of The Official Starships Collection from issue ONE here.

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